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Eliud Kipchoge has been invited to run Tokyo Marathon

Kipchoge may run into trouble entering the country since Japan has banned foreign tourists due to the pandemic

Photo by: Photo: Alan Brookes

The world’s greatest marathoner Eliud Kipchoge hinted in an Athletics Weekly interview that he plans to race this spring ahead of the 2022 World Championships. On Jan. 19, the Tokyo Marathon organizing committee extended an offer to the two-time Olympic marathon gold medallist inviting him to run the race, which will be held on March 6.

Kipchoge concentrated during training in Kenya. Photo: Coros

If Kipchoge chooses to run Tokyo, there is a good chance he will have his eyes on the course record of 2:03:58 set by Wilson Kipsang in 2017. Kipchoge has mentioned on his Instagram that it is his dream to win all six world marathon majors. He currently has three of six, with multiple wins in London (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019), Berlin (2015, 2017, 2018) and one win in Chicago (2014).

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Although Kipchoge has been intensely training in Kenya’s Rift Valley, the Omicron variant surges on in Japan, and it’s likely to have an impact on the event. The Japanese government has banned foreign tourists from entering the country since Nov. 30, and the Tokyo Marathon has not been held since January 2020, two months before much of the world went into lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. (It was originally scheduled for March 2021, then postponed to October due to a rise in coronavirus cases, then postponed once again to March 2022.)

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Race organizers have not announced an international elite field yet due to the uncertainty around the situation. According to Japan Running News, race officials have until Feb. 6 to decide on the fate of the marathon.